UT Grad battling cancer gets commencement surprise

Local News

The University of Tennessee awarded more than 1,800 undergraduate degrees Friday along with 1,100 graduate degrees and certificates. 

Among those receiving their degrees was 25-year-old accounting student Paul Whited.

Sadly, Whited couldn’t walk the stage today, because he’s been battling cancer for nearly three years and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment. 

One of his professors, however, made sure Whited was still part of the celebration – bringing the commencement to his hospital room at UT Medical Center – while live-streaming the moment for the entire crowd at Thompson Boling Arena. 

Whited received his diploma, like all the graduates, with a huge smile. 

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